Bryan Brown and Gregor Jordan announce Open Road Film Festival

A new short film competition created by a prominent Australian director is asking film-makers to create the beginning of a film which already has an ending. Read more »

Diageo announces below-the-line and PR agency shake-up

A fortnight after Diageo Australia dropped The Monkeys from its advertising agency roster, the drinks giant has announced changes to its below-the-line and PR agency relationships, Mumbrella can reveal. Read more »

Mamamia hires former politico Jamila Rizvi as managing editor

Jamila Rizvi and Mia Freeman

Former press secretary to Federal Minister Kate Ellis, Jamila Rizvi, has been appointed the new managing editor of women’s lifestyle website,

Rizvi leaves a role in Ellis’s team as deputy chief of staff and press secretary.

She had previously worked in Kevin Rudd’s media unit. She has worked in politics and public policy for almost four years, providing advice to the Australian government on women, youth, early childhood and media issues. Read more »

Grazia’s Kellie Hush returns to Harper’s Bazaar as editor

Grazia editor Kellie Hush is the new editor of luxury fashion magazine Harper’s Bazaar, ACP magazines has announced.

The re-shuffle comes only a year after the former SMH fashion editor took the role at Grazia, with high hopes to reverse its circulation decline.

Hush, who previously had a three-year stint as deputy editor for Harper’s Bazaar, said: Read more »

Interbrand shuffles management as Melbourne GM Andy Wright moves to Sydney

Andy Wright

A management re-shuffle at Interbrand sees the general manager of the brand agency’s Melbourne office move to Sydney.

Andy Wright will take on the role of divisional general manager, heading up Interbrand Sydney’s brand experience arm. Interbrand Melbourne’s current director of strategy Nick Davis will replace Wright to run the office as GM.

Another change in Melbourne sees Oliver Maltby join from The Chase in London as creative director. Read more »

McCrindle leaves research body after Media Watch exposé

Mark McCrindle

Mark McCrindle

Researcher Mark McCrindle has left the Australian Market & Social Research Society eight months after the ABC’s Media Watch raised questions about his company’s methodology.

The AMSRS launched an investigation into McCrindle Research over several studies used by the company to generate PR for itself. Media Watch offered evidence that on many occasions McCrindle Research had press released surveys with much smaller response bases than it claimed.   Read more »

Allen’s wants to make Australians smile in new participatory campaign

Confectionary brand Allen’s has launched a new campaign intending to make more Australians smile more often with its new ‘Smile Makers’ initiative.

The campaign centres around the idea that people smile only 15 times a day on average, and Allen’s wants to encourage Australians to smile more by sharing the things they do and say to make others smile.

The ‘Smile Makers’ campaign is not to be confused with the new brand of sex toys, Smile Makers vibrators, led by the Monkey’s creative partner Micah Walker.

Read more »

The Sphere Agency uses rock band metaphor in campaign to push its integrated credentials

Sphere ad: lambasts big siloed agencies

A Melbourne ad agency has launched a campaign to promote itself to clients.

The Sphere Agency has used online video, e-direct marketing and a microsite to push its integrated credentials to medium-sized advertisers with a budget of between $2m and $10m.

The 10-year old agency is also pushing its ‘Everything you want, nothing you expect’ slogan.

An online video uses the analogy of a rock band to show how integration should work, with the line ‘Get your communications working harmoniously.”

The agency’s MD Michael Abdul, said: “It’s just common sense: nothing beats having research, strategy, creative, digital, media, experiential and PR all working on the same team, under the one roof, with one bottom line. Read more »

Aussie noir Swerve opens quietly as Prometheus tops box office with $6.8m

A new Australian film in limited release has opened quietly across just 16 screens.

Billed as Australian noir, Swerve had its world premiere at last year’s Melbourne International Film Festival and opened the Australian Film Festival in March.

Directed by Craig Lahiff and produced by Helen Leake the film took $24,487 at the box office for a $1,530 screen average.

The original strategy to be released in the USA through Cohen Media Group before Australia. In February Leake told Encore: Read more »

Fairfax New Zealand appoints Australian sales director Chris Williams

Chris WilliamsFairfax Media New Zealand has appointed Chris Williams as Australian sales director.

Williams will be based in Sydney in a move intended to boost Fairfax New Zealand’s profile in Australia for advertisers targeting New Zealand.

Williams was previously at Sentia Media companies Brandtology and Media Monitors – and before that held sales roles at APN (NZ Herald) and ACP in New Zealand.

The move comes the day after Fairfax pressed ahead with a plan to move production jobs from Australia to New Zealand despite strikes and protests from journalists.

Williams said in a release:  Read more »

Being Lara Bingle premieres below 1m

The premiere of Ten’s new personality-led reality show Being Lara Bingle fell short of reaching the million metro viewers mark on Tuesday night.

The fly on the wall show, which has been heavily promoted on YouTube and Facebook, was promoted with an 8pm start but began at 8:11pm.

It averaged 925,000 and peaked at 1.226m across the five city metro markets, according to OzTam.

The show peaked at 1.226m in its first minute before beginning to drop. At its lowest, the show dipped to 616,000 and returned to over a million at 8:32pm, when Bikie: Wars was scheduled to start.

The show placed and 13th overall for the night and third in its time slot, losing to Nine’s The Big Bang Theory’s 1.274m in seventh place and Seven’s Once Upon A Time’s 1.058m in ninth place.

Read more »

Australian film-maker shortlisted for Ridley Scott’s YouTube film competition

An Australian film-maker has had two short films included in a shortlist of 50 to compete in YouTube’s Your Film Festival.

The competition is run in conjunction with the video platform, Venice International Film Festival and Ridley Scott’s Scott Free production company, with the winner receiving $500,000 to develop a project with Scott and Prometheus star Michael Fassbender.

The top ten finalists, as voted on by the YouTube community, will attend and screen their films at the 69th Venice International Film Festival in August.

Read more »

Fairfax production offshoring goes ahead; talks with striking journos and unions collapse

Protests against Fairfax outsourcing plans

Fairfax is pushing ahead with plans to move scores of production jobs offshore, after talks with protesting journalists and the unions collapsed.

Fifty-six full-time production staff, spread over 61 full and part-time jobs, will move from Australia to New Zealand as part of Fairfax’s plan to strip out cost and transition from a print into a predominantly digital publisher.

The move will hit regional newspapers The Newcastle Herald and Illawarra Mercury hardest, with up to half of their editorial staff made redundant.

Journalists’ union The Media, Entertainment & Arts Alliance slammed the move, saying Fairfax “seems to think it can rip the heart out of these papers without consequences.”

The offshoring comes despite strikes and rallies held in Sydney, Wollongong and Newcastle to combat the proposals, and a plan to keep the jobs in Australia.

Local news network NBN reported the following reaction from employees in Newcastle.

A statement from MEAA acting federal secretary Paul Murphy said: “Fairfax has ignored its readers and instead has taken the axe to two great newspapers with proud histories of more than 150 years of service to their communities.”

Read more »

CumminsRoss adds Fiat and Alfa Romeo to Chrysler client list

Independent agency CumminsRoss has picked up more Chrysler business, adding Fiat and Alfa Romeo to a client list that includes Jeep and Dodge.

The win has helped CumminsRoss’s head count rise to 62, up from 22 in August last year. The agency launched in January 2011.

Chrysler marketing director Sam Tabart said: Read more »

GE Capital launches first Australian brand campaign

GE Capital has launched its first brand campaign in Australia, using print, digital and social media.

Created by Clemenger BBDO Sydney, the campaign introduces the line ‘Building better businesses’ and features customer testimonials telling the story of how GE Capital has helped their business grow.

GE Capital A&NZ chief marketing officer, Suzana Ristevski, said: Read more »

Fairfax hires Anthony Rice in new national sales director role

Anthony RiceFairfax has announced a key new hire in its Media Metro division, with the addition of Anthony Rice in the new role of national sales director, products and audiences.

Rice was formerly at engagement agency Global Red as media director and Readers Digest as sales director.

The announcement comes a week after the appointment of Sarah Keith to the newly created role of head of print advertising strategy. 

Read more »

Ten sales boss Mike Morrison suddenly departs

Mike MorrisonTen’s sales boss Mike Morrison has dramatically left the company, less than six months into the role.

The unexpected departure raises major questions over the reshaping of the network by CEO James Warburton, with the leftfield appointment of Morrison one of his most major hirings.

There were few clues in an official statement from Ten on the nature of Morrison’s exit.

The statement:

“Mike Morrison has resigned as Chief Sales Officer of Network Ten, effective immediately.

“In the interim, Network Ten Chief Executive James Warburton will assume overall responsibility for the Sales department.

“Network Ten National Sales Manager Kylie Rogers will lead the Sales department on a day-to- day basis until a successor for Mr Morrison is appointed.” Read more »

Fairfax profit decline accelerates

The decline in Fairfax Media’s annual profits has accelerated, the company has signalled to the market.

In an update released to the Australian Stock Exchange this morning, Fairfax Media said that its full year profits would be around $500m – down nearly 18% on last year’s $607.4m, which were in turn down 5% on the previous year.

The company said that so far in 2012, revenues have sunk by 8% compared to the same time last year.

Referring to the “difficult” environment, CEO Greg Hywood said in a statement: “This trading environment has continued and the company expects revenue for the second half to be approximately 8% below last year.

“Assuming current trading conditions remain, the company expects to report underlying earnings before interest, tax, deprecation and amortisation (EBITDA) of circa $500 million.” Read more »

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